Beef Wellington is one of those epic meals that you have to make every now and again. It's luxurious, extravagant and oh so tasty. Its not something you will readily get in a restaurant. You must give it a try!
Leah Hyslop, writing in The Daily Telegraph, observes that by the time Wellington became famous, meat baked in pastry was a well-established part of English cuisine, and that the dish’s similarity to the French filet de bœuf en croûte (fillet of beef in pastry) might imply that “Beef Wellington” was a “timely patriotic rebranding of a trendy continental dish”.
However, she cautions, there are no 19th-century recipes for the dish. There is a mention of “fillet of beef, a la Wellington” in the Los Angeles Times of 1903, and an 1899 reference in a menu from the Hamburg-America line. It may be related to ‘steig’ or steak Wellington, an Irish dish (the Duke was Irish in origin), but the dates for this are unclear.
An installment of a serialized story entitled “Custom Built” by Sidney Herschel Small in 1930 had two of its characters in a restaurant in Los Angeles that had “beef Wellington” on its menu.
The first occurrence of the dish recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary is a quotation from a 1939 New York food guide with “Tenderloin of Beef Wellington” which is cooked, left to cool and rolled in a pie crust.
Whatever the origin, the Beef Wellington is a fabulously extravagant dish, tasting of opulence and a real culinary treat. It’s hard work – but so very worth it!
Beef Wellington is done in layers. The inside of the wellington is beef fillet. Then you have a thin layer of mustard on the beef. Then the duxelles, then the prosciutto, then the pastry. The prosciutto give the salty taste and the pastry holds everything together. Make sure the prosciutto is overlapping and completely covers the duxelles, otherwise the duxelles will leak out and make the pastry soggy. The prosciutto basically keeps all the juices and moisture inside and away from the pastry. Make sure you rest the wellington for at least 20 – 30 minutes to ensure that the juices in the beef has dried up.
The United Kingdom, made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an island nation in northwestern Europe. England – birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles – is home to the capital, London, a globally influential centre of finance and culture. England is also site of Neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old universities at Oxford and Cambridge.
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